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Former Rams LB James Laurinaitis to sign with Saints

Former Rams linebacker James Laurinaitis will sign with the New Orleans Saints, he confirmed on Twitter on Wednesday night.

Laurinaitis, who became the Rams' all-time leading tackler in 2015, was shocked at being released by the team Feb. 19 in a salary-cap purge that also included Chris Long and Jared Cook. He had said repeatedly that he hoped to be part of the Rams' turnaround as they moved to Los Angeles for the 2016 season.

Laurinaitis, 29, had signed a five-year, $41.5 million deal with St. Louis before the 2012 season and, along with Long, was the Rams' longest-tenured player before being released.

A second-round pick in the 2009 draft, Laurinaitis had 109 tackles, a sack and an interception last season. In 112 games for the Rams, he compiled 654 tackles, 10 interceptions, eight fumble recoveries and 16½ sacks in seven seasons. He also won over teammates and coaches with his leadership skills and professional approach.

ESPN Rams reporter Nick Wagoner contributed to this report.